22 Dec Members of DA Ballard’s Team Move In To Center To Fight Child Abuse
On Tuesday December 20th there was a celebration in Claremore’s William W. Barnes Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC).
DA Matt Ballard’s Sexual Assault Investigator Gary Stansill and SVU Prosecutor Kali Strain now office in the center joining staff members already offering abuse victims medical exams, therapy and forensic interviews.
Professionals from multiple agencies, all with expertise in fighting child abuse, are now under one roof at the Children’s Advocacy Center.
Stopping child abuse and helping victims heal requires a comprehensive plan including multiple agencies and professionals. The majority of young people the CAC serves are victims of sexual abuse. The CAC serves children from Craig, Mayes and Rogers Counties.
In addition to CAC staff who offer counseling, medical exams, forensic interviewing of victims and DA staff a Cherokee Nation Child Welfare Specialist also now works out of the CAC.
Having all of these experts in one location promotes collaboration and communication in these very sensitive cases. It makes the investigative and prosecutorial process less traumatic for victims and their families:
- Young people receive prompt treatment that is tailored to meet their specific needs
- More effective decisions are made by sharing professional knowledge and expertise
- Non-offending parents are empowered to protect their children
- Allegations of child abuse are more thoroughly investigated
- The community is better educated about the problem of child abuse
- The community is better able to identify gaps in the system and is empowered to develop more resources
The William W. Barnes Children’s Advocacy Center serves about 350 young people each year and is a non-profit agency.
New additions to the Barnes CAC:
Laci Rinehart, Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare Specialist
Kali Strain, DA SVU Prosecutor
Gary Stansill, DA Sexual Assault Investigator
Current CAC staff members:
Holly Webb, Executive Director
Jodie Hunt, Forensic Interviewer
Kelly Oxford, Family Advocate
Kim Petty, Therapist
Dr. Debra Colpitt, Child Abuse Doctor
Dr. Steven Egleston, Child Abuse Doctor